Bucs 'moving forward,' with Glennon and seek trade for Freeman
Bucs quarterback of the present and the future will be in the huddle Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
The team's decision to bench Josh Freeman and start rookie Mike Glennon was made in a meeting Tuesday with coach Greg Schiano, general manager Mark Dominik and members of the Glazer family which owns the team.
Because the Bucs have decided to eventually part ways with Freeman, the 17th overall pick in 2009, the ownership also was consulted.
How far Glennon takes the Bucs remains to be seen, but it's clear the organization is moving forward without Freeman.
"This is a huge decision for our organization and I wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing,'' Schiano said.
“Mike is our starting quarterback from this point forward. Mike is our quarterback and that’s the plan and we’re going. That’s how we’re going.''
Freeman will serve as the backup but it's clear the Bucs will seek to part ways with him before the Oct. 29 trading deadline.
“I’m going to leave that up to Mark. He handles that end of things,'' Schiano said. "I’ll leave it up to him. We’ll talk about it obviously, but that’s the business side of things. I try to keep Mark on that and he does a great job with it.''
Schiano detailed the decision-making process that transpired from the end of the Bucs' 23-3 loss to the Patriots Sunday until Wednesday's announcement.
"Let me just clear up a few things. After the game on Sunday, I told you Josh Freeman was our starting quarterback,'' Schiano said. "On Monday, I reiterated that because he was. After I met with you guys, Mark Dominik and I spent a lot of time together and in some intense meetings, trying to decide what’s best for our football team. We got with our ownership. When we came to a conclusion as a group, we made the decision organizationally that we were going to make a change at quarterback and now Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback.
“Mark and I believe this gives us the best chance to win today. You know, we’ve lost eight of nine games and haven’t played particularly well on offense in the last nine games. That’s something, although it’s not completely the quarterback’s fault, I understand that, that position touches the ball every play. So that’s where we are.''
How much Freeman's off-field lapses have contributed to his benching is uncertain. He missed his own football camp, team photo and was not voted captain by teammates for the first time in four years.
Schiano was asked if Freeman's preparation level was a factor.
“Performance based decision, it’s a performance-based business,'' Schiano said. "Everything goes into people’s performance in my belief. So I’m not going to sit here and say 50 percent is this and 20 percent is that. We’re not getting the job done. Offensively, we’re not getting the job done. We made a move to try and make us better on offense.''
While Schiano said he didn't want to compare the two quarterbacks, he lauded Glennon for his preparation.
"Incredibly hard worker, passionate about football, studies his rear end off,'' Schiano said of Glennon. "Tries to execute the plan we try to implement. There’s a lot of good things.''
By moving to Glennon, Bucs players should not think the remainder of the season is about developing a rookie quarterback.
“I sure hope not,'' Schiano said. "I mean, you’ve just got to look at the playoffs last year. The NFC. I think those guys (produced).''
Is Schiano comparing Glennon to the Seahawks' Russell Wilson and the Redskins' Robert Griffin III?
“I think Mike Glennon is Mike Glennon,'' Schiano said. "I think Mike Glennon is going to help us win Sunday and I think he’s going to help us win a lot of games.''